This is how Claudio Parentela welcomes you to his website. Click on enter and you are transported to the eclectic personal world ’s website opens and, by clicking enter, we are transported into his eclectic and vanguard world.
In his countless projects this curious artist uses a range of techniques – illustration, photography, cartoon and collage – to express all the energy and fervency of southern Italy. Thanks, in part, to his many collaborations with different zines, contemporary art magazines and comics from Italy and around the world, Claudio has been active in the international underground art scene for many years.
You’re based in Italy, but work internationally. How would you describe the current art situation in Italy?
I work, paint and draw for whoever I happen to meet. The fact that I started showing and publishing my work abroad was by chance … a very lucky chance I must admit.
I started long ago in 1995 by drawing and displaying my work in a lot of zines throughout Eastern Europe. At that time you could find an incredibly vibrant and creative art scene despite the fact that there was a horrible war going on. I don’t follow the art scene in Italy, but I like a lot of Italian artists and I think that there is extraordinary talent everywhere.
Are there advantages and disadvantages to being an Italian artist?
Yes, I think there are advantages to being an artist and to being an Italian artist. People everywhere tend to love us. In other countries people tend to still have a romantic and fairly unrealistic image of Italy – of Rome, Florence, etc… The Italians as a population of artists … why not? Although I think that we are all artists whether we are are or aren’t Italian.
Does your work seek to evoke specific emotions or reactions from your viewers?
I don’t know. I create quickly and automatically without focusing on any specific problem. I do feel free, especially when I have all of my stuff in front of me, ready to be used, mixed into a sort of punk alchemy. I never know what will come out of it. I simply go with the flow and try to be present in that moment. I hope to evoke emotions, to free emotions, in myself and in my audience.
In an interview you said that to work you need to listen music, which kind of music do you listen to?
I listen to music all day long and I really couldn’t do without it. It’s important for me and for my work. I listen to everything … Coil, Diamanda Galas, Ghedalia Tazartes, Swands, Shirley Horn, Patty Waters, Nina Simone, Sara Vaughn, Taylor Deupree, William Basinski and many, many more…
Do you like to cook? If you do, would you say you cook strictly traditional Italian food or do you like to mix it up as you do in your collages?
I really love cooking, but I don’t cook Italian style food. I love Asian, Indian and Chinese food in particular.
With all the craziness in your art there is something “normal” in your life?
Everything is very normal. I am bourgeois, and I am bourgeois in a normal way, that is I live a calm and bourgeois life. I know you would never think this was the case, but really…that’s how it is!